10 Ways to Improve Your Performance at Work

Businessman touching indicators of growth chart

You arrive to work, you sit down at your desk, you complete your eight hours and you return home. This drab and dreary existence does not seem like much (it isn’t!), but is it any wonder why your career has turned out this way? It’s because you became too cozy at the office, and now your work performance has taken a turn for the worst. It’s time to create a plan.

It’s typical for many workers to get too comfortable at the company. We’re like this in all areas of life: if we do the same thing over and over again for several years, then we are apprehensive to change. But change will only breed positive results, especially in your career. What’s good about change is that it can happen immediately; you don’t need to wait and twiddle your thumbs.

So, how can you receive a raise, get that promotion and move up the corporate ladder? Let’s examine how you can improve your work performance as early as tomorrow!

1. Make a To-Do List

Here’s a question: how many times a day have you forgotten to complete an important task? Better yet, how many assignments have you submitted late because they completely slipped your mind?

Let’s be honest: we are busy people with too much to do, so it is understandable if we fail to complete certain things. That said, if this is a perpetual problem, then it must be addressed immediately.

The solution? A to-do list. Yes, a to-do list may seem old-fashioned, but it’s probably the best tool to employ to improve your day-to-day work performance. By incorporating a to-do list into your job, you can be confident that you will get everything you need to get done on any given workday.

You can either create a to-do list for the next day before you go home or you can produce one for the coming day when you arrive at your desk. In any case, you will see your performance surge, prompting your superiors to leave many positive comments.

2. Start Your Morning the Right Way

Your morning is ruining the rest of your day. By waking up late, rushing out the door, abandoning a hearty breakfast for a Starbucks latte and getting angry at everyone in your path, you are setting yourself up for failure at work. Even if you’re a night owl, you’ll need to adjust your ways.

Moving forward, one of the things to improve on is your morning routine. Here are some areas where you can make changes:

  • go to bed early and wake up at the same time (even weekends)
  • take a hot five-minute shower
  • eat a hearty, protein-rich breakfast to fill you up until lunch
  • leave your home early to give yourself plenty of time to get to work
  • do not rush to work, whether you’re driving or taking public transit
  • treat yourself to a specialty coffee or breakfast on Fridays.

These are all the correct ways to conduct your morning. After a week or two of this, you only need to remember previous mornings to see the significant contrast.

3. Triple Check Every Assignment

We clocked in a lot of hours, utilised a lot of energy and endured a lot of blood, sweat and tears to complete a project or an assignment. Because we allocated many resources to get the job done and to start working on the next task, we may fail to double check our work. It’s understandable, because the last thing you want to do is spend even more time on the job that has dominated your career life.

That said, it’s imperative to always go over your work to ensure zero mistakes have been made. You can top it off by triple checking each document, every email and all the things related to the project. Even with automated tools, such as autocorrect and spellcheck, they are not infallible, so be prudent and proactive by scanning your work three times.

4. Give Your Workspace a Facelift

Oftentimes, it isn’t so much as to what we do as it is where we do it. You may receive positive feedback from your supervisor with a couple of caveats, filled with all the nauseating clichés: we know you can do better, you can live up to your potential and the opportunities are yours for the taking. In other words, there is something holding you back from reaching that next level.

After several moments of contemplation, we think we have the answer: your workspace. The same view, the same cubicle, the same workstation, the same people and the same environment. It can be difficult for the soul to endure this type of monotony five days a week.

So, when you arrive to work tomorrow, take the time to adjust your office space. Here are things you can do that do not require too much effort:

  • declutter your desk and remove all the garbage
  • wipe down your work areas with a disinfectant wipe
  • personalise your desk with pictures, flowers or customised mugs
  • move your desk to another part of the workplace (if possible)
  • change your work setting by heading to a coffee shop, park or library.

A change in scenery, no matter how small, can do wonders for your career advancement.

5. Stop Multitasking Right Now

For some reason, we have been sold the idea that the key to superb job performance is to multitask. You may think you can multitask, but you really cannot because you’re unable to fully concentrate on every task. Look at this way: when you’re on your smartphone and you’re conversing with your spouse, friend or colleague, you’re not really paying attention to the person because the smartphone is distracting you.

Of all the improvements to consider at work, it is essential to ditch multitasking. It’s bad for your body and mental health. Instead, you should only focus on one task at a time, not eight different things at once. You will notice the difference in quality after just one or two days. Remember: it’s all about quality, not quantity.

6. Learn from Others

Since your first day on the job, you have worked with the same person. Every day, they are content, productive, grateful and energised. It’s a remarkable sight to witness, especially as you procrastinate, complain and fall asleep at your desk. What’s their secret?

There’s no shame in learning from your peers, whether they’re your subordinates or your superiors. One of the ways to get better is to constantly find out new methods from those in your surroundings to see how they handle stress, what they do to improve in their roles and where they get the energy to arrive early, stay late and complete all the tasks – large or small.

7. Create a Go-Bag

Have you ever heard of a go-bag? Well, you should, because it will change your professional life forever.

A go-bag is something that holds all your essentials together, such as chargers, documents, devices and everything else important to your job. A go-bag keeps all your items in one place and allows you to do your work wherever and whenever. It is important, however, to ensure that it does not get messy and disorganised, so use sealable zipper storage bags or small containers to better organise.

The go-bag is perfect for professionals who are always on-the-go, work remotely or are self-employed. At the airport and some time to kill? Get a task done. On the bus without anything to do? Get some work done. Your dinner date will be two hours late? Feel like a pro and complete a quick assignment.

8. Drink Plenty of Water

A 2014 study found that most of us are not drinking enough water. In fact, we’re only imbibing one glass of water each day, far less than the recommended eight glasses of gravy, err, water per day (sorry, Homer Simpson reference). We’re neglecting the nectar of the gods in favour of soda, tea and coffee. They may seem like comforting drinks that can keep you sane while you finish your eight hours, but they will impact your job and your health in the future.

Water can sustain your body throughout the entire day and ensure that your body is fully hydrated. This will keep you fresh, healthy and energised – as long as you complement the water with a healthy diet. A coffee may give you a jolt of energy that will last an hour or two, but water can do the job for the day.

9. Take a Break to Clear Your Mind

Because we are so behind in our work or we have too much on our plates, we refrain from taking too many breaks. In fact, when you’re in a groove, you may be parked in your office chair, staring at a screen for three consecutive hours. This isn’t good for anybody.

It’s time to take a break; the one-hour lunch will not suffice. Every hour or so, you should take a five-minute breather to clear your mind, rejuvenate your body and get away from it all. No matter how much you love your job, it’s always a good idea to absquatulate once in a while.

And, yes, small talk can also be a great method to both advance your career and escape from work.

10. Use Your Vacation Time

Half of all US workers are not taking their allotted vacation time. All the studies that examined the issue have found some interesting reasons, everything from not wanting to return to a huge pile of work to not wanting to give the impression that they’re a slacker. This is indicative of the state of the workplace.

Here is something that your boss wants you to know: they want you take your vacation time.

Yes, it may seem counterintuitive, but using your vacation is critical for your career. By taking a two-week break once or twice a year, you can achieve quite a bit:

  • you give your mind, body and soul a much-needed rest
  • you can locate new opportunities by stepping outside your comfort zone
  • you find inspiration for your work or other areas you’re interested in
  • you show your colleagues how important you are to the business.

You don’t necessarily need to travel to Venice on your vacation break because a staycation can be just as relaxing. But the key is to just to inform your company you’re taking two weeks off.

It’s common for professionals to start taking their work for granted or get accustomed to their own ways of doing things. Unfortunately, if your job performance stagnates – it doesn’t get better or worse – then you risk suffering from career stagnation, which is the worst thing that can happen to you. It’s easy to feel this way when you have been working in the same role at the same firm for many years. You may be coasting, but it is imperative that you take the initiative to develop and advance your career.

By adopting these suggestions, you can give your daily work performance a shot in the arm. A change in scenery, an adjustment to your morning routine, more water consumption and a to-do list are all the ways you can do better at the office. Never stagnate, only improve!

What other ways do you improve your work performance? Let us know in the comments section below!